Brittany knows that when it comes to fair and equitable representation, being present is just the first step to big change. After she completes her criminal justice degree at United Tribes Technical College, Brittany wants to become a federal prosecutor.
“There’s really an underrepresentation of minorities in the judicial system and it creates an imbalance. I want to address racial bias and create awareness of Native Americans. I want to be the voice of the people who can’t represent themselves and help others understand our point of view.”
Representation is the first step to change and education is the next. “Knowledge is power. I’ve experienced that in my own educational journey. The more I know, the more powerful I feel. The more I see the world differently. And my wish is for all Native Americans to experience that, too.”
I have always known wasna, a traditional Lakota dish, to be spirit food and we commonly use it in traditional ceremonies. When I was younger, I remember someone leaving out a plate of wasna during a ceremony and I thought they had forgotten a plate of food, so I grabbed it and brought it to my mother. She explained that it was spirit food—a form of offering to the spirits during the ceremony, representing a thank you for all we have received and a prayer for our future.
While it is not a family recipe, it is widely used amongst my people. I hope you enjoy it.
My children and I enjoy reading I Am Not A Number as a family. My grandfather did not share his boarding school era experiences with my mother and therefore I did not have much knowledge regarding this important time in our history.
This book has helped me and my children understand the boarding school era a little more in-depth. It is important for me to gain knowledge on this topic because I am a direct descendent of people who experienced this historical event. I think understanding my family history will help me to better understand myself.
I’d like to share a special place that my children and I hike. It is located on the east side of the Missouri River and overlooks the site of the historic Mandan Indian Village.
The Mandan lived in earth lodges, which are marked at this historic spot. At the end of the walking path along the revise, at the top of this hill, there is a very beautiful panoramic view of the section of the Missouri River that separates the towns of Mandan and Bismarck, N.D. There is also a park there that my children enjoy.
This film is special to me because I believe it brings awareness and pays respect to the historical importance of my tribe’s chief, Sitting Bull. I like that it is a vivid and visual depiction of an important historical event that complements the traditional Lakota oral story representation.
The film is told from different perspectives. Even though it varies from my understanding of Sitting Bull’s death, I still enjoyed it because it accurately showcases the struggles and hardships many Native Americans were experiencing at that time.
A collection of artworks that means a lot to me can be found along the Missouri River walking path, just below the historic Mandan Indian Village. Each beautiful and original piece was created by various Native American artists at my college, United Tribes Technical College. They depict thunder beings and eagles.
This collection of artworks is important to me because it is a public presence in Bismarck, N.D. and an acknowledgment of our culture’s artistic representation.